By Toni G. Atkins
On June 20, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins recognized San Diego resident Veronica Zerrer as Veteran of the Year in the 39th District for 2018.
Retired U.S. Army Major Zerrer was active in the U.S. Navy from 1976 to 1980, serving as a cryptologic technician, and then in the Army from 1980 to 1998, as a cavalry scout, platoon leader, company commander and staff officer while assigned to the 1st Infantry and the 35th Infantry Divisions.
After active duty, she served in the reserves and embarked on a civilian career in social services and government. She has managed a shelter for people experiencing homelessness, a home-maintenance program for seniors and traffic-safety projects for the state of Kansas. She also worked as the tribal grant writer for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and was the director of development for the Orange County, California LGBT Community Center.
Having relocated to San Diego, she is the president of the board of directors for both The Neutral Corner, Inc., San Diego’s longest active transgender education organization, and TransFamily Support Services, a nonprofit devoted to supporting transgender youth and their families.
“Veronica served our country as a member of the Armed Forces for more than 20 years, and when she retired from active duty, she continued to serve her country – by serving her community,” Atkins said. “Today she does so by providing support for her transgender neighbors. Veronica embodies the principles of honor, duty and service, and I am proud to name her Veteran of the Year in the 39th District.”
“I’m very grateful, and humbled, to be honored in such a manner by Senator Atkins,” Zerrer said. “Her commitment to our nation’s military personnel in California comes from the heart. She’s a tremendous supporter of California veterans, for which so many are grateful.